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First Look: Salvaged copper lamps, massive art loft, kitchens, and wool rugs all the way from India - house2018 is open!

“I’m just off this morning’s ferry, a red eye as they say, in two transit vans, moving back to Ireland. What better way to do it.”

Ciara McGarrity from Waffle Design has been living in London for 18 years, working in window display.

But just this morning, on the opening day of house2018 in Dublin’s RDS, she has moved back home to develop her passion project – ethically made and hand embroidered rugs and soft furnishings, made from natural fibres.

Ciara’s wool and linen rugs are woven in a social enterprise called Five P in Tamil Nadu in India, and she hand embroiders the finishing touches herself.

House2018 is full of stories, from people who are passionate about design, and who bring their own unique twist to the world of interiors and home design.

Eoin Shanley from CopperFish Studio is another such person. He found a three-feet tall Betty Boop figurine at auction, restored it and made it into a copper light feature, which is selling at house2018 for €750. He’s also turned an original World war II phone box into a light feature.

“That’s an original. That’s essentially a mobile phone from 1944. There would have been a phone in it. Now there’s a lovely bulb in it”

“Every single light and lamp that I do comes with a card which tells you the exact origin of every piece of timber, or record player or anything.”

“I work with all salvaged and reclaimed and quirky pieces. House2018 is really good because it’s top end. I can bring my unusual pieces like Betty Boop and the fire extinguisher light feature, that kind of stuff.”

“I started the business about three years ago when myself and my wife restored an old thatch cottage in Leitrim and we couldn’t find any lighting we liked, so we started making our own with stuff on site, from everything that we found on site, the timber, the oak, and old copper. And here’s the result – three years later.”

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Ceadogan Rugmakers, Zelouf & Bell, Halo Tiles, Enigma Design, Woo Design, Hedgeroe Home, Kube Kitchens, Lost Weekend and Bang & Olufsen are just some of the exhibitors downstairs at house2018.

Meanwhile, upstairs in the art loft, with the likes of Orla Walsh, Vincent Devine, David Coyne and Ruthie Ashenhurst, is Yong Jin (37) from Yangi in northeast China.

He grew up in a mountainous area, near a stream, and remembers an idyllic childhood in the company of nature and goats and chickens. He has been painting since he was five years old, and describes himself as a big dreamer who’s sold paintings in every continent in the world except Antartica – all through social media.

His paintings put animals and colour front and centre.

“Wildlife and colours, I think it’s the perfect match.”

“At the moment, there are so many bad things happening in the world. So at least for my paintings, I want everything positive – messages, symbols – so that’s how I started. A lot of symbols associated with home, family, love, peace. So that’s where I get my ideas.”

“Irish people really love art. Many people might not have much money but they love art, so they pay monthly.”

House 2018 is running at Dublin's RDS from May 25-27.

There will be talks all weekend from household names and key industry influencers offering hands on advice including Dermot Bannon, Roisin Lafferty of KLD, designer Suzie McAdam and international designer Jo Hamilton

Art, upcycling, design clinics and trend talks will all be taking place under one roof, in the company of 160 exhibitors.

See house-event.ie

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